High Speed! Japanese Blu-ray review

In 2011, the producers at Animation Do and Kyoto Animation decided to make one of the honorable mentions in 2011’s Kyoto Animation Awards into an animated TV series. To helm it, Hiroko Utsumi planed and directed a production for the first time. The Free! TV series ran from July 2013-September 2013 for 12 broadcast episodes and was immensely popular upon broadcast. A sequel was never in doubt and it aired from July 2014-September 2014. At the fan events in March 2015, it was announced that a movie adapting the second novel would be released later that year.  It would continually be advertised with re-runs of the TV series both at theatre events and during re-runs set across the country. While the immediate box office returns weren’t what people expected, it had long enough legs to be a success. Then on July 20, 2016, it was released onto Blu-ray and DVD from Kyoto Animation and the production committee. This is a review of the Blu-ray release (though the only difference between versions is the disc included). My thoughts on the movie itself are posted here on my tumblr page. Continue reading

Nichijou Blu-ray Box review

Nichijou was a highly anticipated show. Why shouldn’t it have been? Kadokawa Shoten were riding high off of many successes in the late 2000s anime market. Their partnership with Kyoto Animation on the Full Metal Panic, Haruhi Suzumiya, and Lucky Star series earned them lots of yen from novel sales and merchandising. While there was a slight downturn with their collaboration on the Munto TV series, that could be easily explained as a blip, a statistical outlier. As such, Kadokawa Producer Atsushi Ito figured big things would happen for Nichijou and planned/marketed it as a success from day 1. Suffice to say, certain goals were not met and Kadokawa Shoten’s video division took a loss on the show. Likely putting a popular gag comedy in 13 BD/DVD volumes scheduled for longer than a year didn’t help. In 2013, Kadokawa began re-releasing older titles in compilation Blu-ray boxes. The very first title released in this format was Nichijou to earn a bit more yen from video sales. This is a review of that BD-Box from August 2013.

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K-On!! Blu-ray Box review

Following the hugely successful first season, TBS producer Yoshihisa Nakayama was easily able to get a sequel approved rapidly after the show finished broadcasting. Furthermore, he was able to convince TBS (and other committee members) to make this sequel twice as long as the first season was. In order to celebrate 5 years since broadcast, TBS released both seasons of the show in blu-ray boxes. After the successful first season box, the second was released in November of 2014. This is a review of that box set.

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Kanon Blu-ray Box review

In 2004, TBS’s producer Nakayama decided to create an adaptation of a popular visual novel to run on TBS’s broadcast satellite channel BS-i. He chose to collaborate with Pony Canyon, Movic, and a studio which had aired its first TV animation production the year prior, Kyoto Animation. That adaptation was very popular and as such Nakayama went back to a Key visual novel for another adaptation, which ran from October 2006 to March 2007. As with most TV series in 2007, it was only released on DVD at the time, despite airing in HD. In late 2009, TBS and Pony Canyon released the highly anticipated Blu-ray Box set. This is a review of that Blu-ray Box for the series Kanon. (Box images courtesy of TMSIDR)

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AIR Blu-ray Box review

In 2004, TBS’s producer Nakayama decided to create an adaptation of a popular visual novel to run on TBS’s broadcast satellite channel BS-i. He chose to collaborate with Pony Canyon, Movic, and a studio which had aired its first TV animation production the year prior, Kyoto Animation. The adaptation of the novel began in January 2005 and ran until March 2005 with DVDs releasing throughout 2005 including a bonus OVA disc containing two special episodes in October 2005. In early 2006, TBS and Pony Canyon began promoting it as one of the first anime Blu-ray releases before delays pushed it back to a December 2006 release time. This is a review of that Blu-ray Box for the series AIR.

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Tamako Market Blu-ray Box review

In 2011, the producers at Kyoto Animation and Pony Canyon decided to re-unite the staff from the hit series K-On! for an original production. Through many changes during the planning process, the final version became a show about the daughter of a mochi shopowner in a little shopping district. Tamako Market had little promotion before its initial running of January-March 2013, only a few magazine articles and commericals promoted the show. It failed to catch fire like the previous show from the staff, but it wasn’t for a lack of love towards the characters. In 2014, a sequel film, Tamako Love Story was produced. Following that release and the popularity of the film, KyoAni and Pony Canyon decided to re-release the series in a Blu-ray box. This review covers said box of the show published by Kyoto Animation and the Usagiyama Shopping Street.

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Sound! Euphonium Blu-ray Volume 1 review

In 2013, Ayano Takeda wrote a novel based on her and her friends’ experiences in concert band/wind music called Sound! Euphonium: Welcome to the North Uji High School Concert Band. This was her second novel published after she won the Japan Love Novel award for her manuscript Today, We Breathed Together. Takeda’s novel caught the attention of two producers at Kyoto Animation (Eiharu Oohashi and Riri Senami). They approached the publisher for the rights to adapt it into an anime and, after partnering with Pony Canyon, Lantis, and Rakuonsha, they began airing it in April 2015. This review covers the first Japanese Blu-ray volume of the show published by Kyoto Animation and the Hibike Production Partners.

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